UltraCAD Design, Inc



Recounting Electrons

After the election debacle of 2000, it became clear that current measuring devices may also subject to criticism, especially in some Southern states! This resulted!

Dateline, Washington DC

 A crisis is looming in the electronics industry. A charge has been made that the current measuring devices we are now using are unreliable, and this may mean that electronic development must stop until this issue is resolved.

 You see, current has always been defined as the flow of electrons. So, current has always been interpreted as relating to how many electrons pass by a point in a given unit of time. Almost all current measuring devices measure current in a way that is consistent with this definition. And almost all of them measure the average current that passes by a point in some unit of time.

 As is now charged by certain groups in Washington (whose motives are as yet unclear) these approaches fail to take into account the INTENT of the electrons passing by a point. What if, for example, some of the electrons intended to pass a different point? Perhaps they passed this point by mistake. Perhaps they were swept along by the excitement of the moment. Perhaps they were misled by unscrupulous leaders who gave them misleading forces. Or worst of all, perhaps they were dragged by the point unwillingly by other electrons stronger than they.

 No one has yet alleged that the measuring equipment is intentionally acting in bad faith. People bringing these charges say they have confidence that the various pieces of measuring equipment are doing the best job they know how to do. But if we want a really accurate count of the number of electrons that actually intended to pass by a given point, the allegations say, we must examine each and every electron as to its intent when it was passing by.

 Some engineers are wondering how to do that. It is known that some counters with negative attitudes tend to undercount electrons --- almost as if they were repelling some from the counting station. Counters with positive attitudes often tend to over count electrons. Everyone agrees that it would be best to have a team of neutral counters. But since the neutral counters will have been chosen by ordinary people with attitudes, it is not clear that they can maintain their neutrality.

 Then, of course, electrons are not always clear about what their intent actually is (or was). A great many electrons, for example, are known to change their minds as often as 120 times each second (and some of them considerably more than that!) In one study, electrons were asked to express their intent by passing through one of several holes. The fact that the electrons split about evenly in their choices was given as clear evidence of the degree to which their intents diverge. But some electrons were observed to pass through one hole and return through another. Another electron passed through one hole, reversed itself and then passed through a second. Yet other electrons seemed to look through a hole, but not pass through it. Since these electrons have now all gone on to other circuits, it is left to a team of experts to divine what their intent actually was so that we can have a correct measure.

 A radical notion was presented by one group that suggested that any electron which could not clearly express its intent simply should not be measured. But most others were perfectly comfortable with the notion that they could easily determine what the electrons intended, even if the electrons themselves couldn’t!

 As an aside, people have given a device with similar holes to a group of second graders and asked them to select their intent by choosing one of the holes. Their individual intentions were uniformly clear, suggesting that second graders are, in fact, smarter than electrons.

 There is now a movement to recall all current-measuring devices until it can be known if they correctly measure the intent of the electrons passing by a point. This may, of course, cause a halt to all electronic development until all this can be resolved. This has obvious implications for the health of our industry. We need to stay tuned.


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